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Listerine says it is not clinically proven to fight COVID-19

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Listerine has debunked a new study that suggests mouthwash can kill off coronavirus within 30 seconds.

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Findings from the Cardiff University study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal, claim that mouthwashes containing at least 0.07% of cetypryidinium chloride (CPC) show promising capabilities of combating the virus. Scientists leading the study mimicked the conditions of a person’s nasal and oral passages and used brands like Listerine and Dentyl.

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However, Johnson & Johnson, Listerine’s manufacturer and distributor, said that mouthwash is not linked to coronavirus and should not be used as a treatment.

The company's Consumer Health division noted that Listerine is "an antimicrobial mouthwash that is clinically proven to kill germs that cause plaque, bad breath and the early gum disease, gingivitis," and in a statement to FOX Business, stated that the mouthwash "is not intended to prevent or treat COVID-19 and should be used only as directed on the product label."

On its product website, the company has posted "Listerine Usage Guidelines and COVID-19 Outbreak" and its first line of information reads: "We encourage Consumers to learn about and follow guidance provided by the World Health Organization".

Listerine mouthwash sales have ticked up over the course of the pandemic, according to Johnson & Johnson’s Q3 earnings report.

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The preliminary results of the university’s study reveal that mouthwash may help fight off the virus in the saliva, but there is no evidence of how it can affect the respiratory tract or lungs, which are the main areas of COVID-19 infection. A clinical trial will take place at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff to examine just how effective the common mouthwash brand is with reducing coronavirus levels in the saliva, according to the BBC.

One of the specialist periodontologist, Dr. Nick Claydon, told the BBC that he believed the research is “very valuable.”

“If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University’s clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes … could become an important addition to people’s routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future,” Dr. Claydon told the BBC.

The upcoming clinical trials expected early next year will aim to find whether mouthwash can reproduce the same results found in the laboratory on patients.

Johnson & Johnson has discredited the claims made in the study.

“To date, the available data and research is not sufficient to support a conclusion that the use of Listerine mouthwashes could be helpful in the prevention or treatment of coronavirus as further research is needed,” the spokesperson told FOX Business, “As a company firmly rooted in science, we will be active participants in the scientific exchange on this topic.”

The company is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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